As the multifaith Interreligious Council of Southern California celebrated 20 years of behind-the-scenes existence this month, a founder urged that it remain one of the few religious entities that has "never had a fund-raiser."
Roman Catholic Msgr. Royale M. Vadakin of Los Angeles told his Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Bahai, Sikh and fellow Christian colleagues that he gets frightened when their conversations turn to hiring staff, keeping an office and starting a newsletter.
"You cannot institutionalize trust and friendship," Vadakin said.
The council plays its most significant service as "a conduit which brings immediate and strongly personal contacts between a wide spectrum of the world's great religions (that are) present in substantial communities in Los Angeles."
The contact serves well for both "times of celebration . . . (and) in times of anguish and conflict," said Vadakin, who directs the ecumenical and interfaith relations for the Los Angeles Catholic Archdiocese.